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7 Side Hustles For Your 20s

7 Side Hustles For Your 20s

As a modern-day millennial, you’re likely stuck with mountains of student loans, bills, and the general stresses associated with that mystical art of “adulting.” Finding a successful “side-hustle” becomes an imperative way to supplement your income without having to pick up a second job. As a self-proclaimed side-hustle artist, I have weeded through various side hustles to find the most lucrative, money-making options for 20-somethings and beyond.

Mystery Shopping – A Closer Look

Mystery shopping (also known as secret shopping) is a method of quality control for business owners. Secret shoppers are hired to evaluate a business for cleanliness, customer service, and overall efficiency. A Closer Look is an award winning international mystery shopping company. The majority of shops require shoppers 21 and above, but some shops skew younger or older. Age evaluation shops often require shoppers between the ages of 21 and 29 to ensure that restaurants and bars are checking the identification of young patrons. A Closer Look features shops at restaurants, bars, hotels, gyms, concerts, and more. Most shops only reimburse you for the amount of your visit, but many will pay you simply for performing the shop.

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Clothing Resale – Poshmark

Unlike consignment shops, which will often take half of what your items are sold for, Poshmark takes only 20% of whatever your item is sold for (or $2.95…whichever is greater). You list and set the prices yourself. Shipping is included in the 20% fee, so all you need to do is print out the shipping label and plop it on the free priority mail packing materials available at USPS. Poshmark accepts men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing, shoes, and accessories. Earnings can be transferred directly to your bank account or you can request a check.

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk – mTurk

Interersted in getting paid to help with research? Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is a site powered by Amazon for non-computer related tasks. Tasks can include research studies at a university level or tasks such as flagging inappropriate images. You can sign up with an Amazon account and elect to have your earnings as an Amazon gift card or have them deposited into your bank account. While I was a student, I used my Mechanical Turk earnings to pay for all of my textbooks.

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Pet Sitting – Rover

Love animals? Pet sitters are needed in your area! Rover allows pet sitters to connect with pet owners in need of canine or feline care. You set your own rates and accept jobs based on your schedule. Pet owners are in need of dog walkers, short visits, long visits, in-home, and out-of-home care. Whether you’re willing to stay at someone else’s house or would prefer to host a pet in your own home, there’s a job for you. If you’re home for the holidays or summer, you’ll see an extra boost in inquiries as people travel on vacation.

Fiverr

If you have a unique talent or special skill, Fiverr could be the place for you to make money from home. Fiverr is, quite literally, a site of things people will do for $5. Categories include teaching English or foreign language classes via Skype, putting up posters at local businesses, editing papers or resumes, and more.

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Babysitting/Housesitting – Care

If you enjoy working with children, Care is a great place to be connected with families in your area in need of an occasional babysitter or long-term nanny. You are able to filter your requests by the ages of the children, the amount you would like to be paid, and the family’s distance from you. Care encourages to chat prior to booking a job to ensure that you are comfortable with the family, and the family is comfortable with you. Care also offers housesitting and errands for extra cash.

AirBnB/HomeAway

Have an extra room in your home you’d be willing to rent out? Travelers are looking for affordable alternatives to traditional hotels. Opening up your home not only puts money in your wallet, but offers a hospitality experience like no other. Travelers are typically from out-of-town, and your recommendations enhance their stay more than a stuffy hotel would. You name your rates and availability and can adjust accordingly based on special events taking place in your area.

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Flexibility is key in finding successful side hustles. While not all of these options will fit with your schedule 24/7, the ability to name your own prices and hours is key to staying steady.

More by this author

Melissa Manson

Media Planner and Buyer

7 Side Hustles For Your 20s Taking the Mystery Out of Mystery Shopping

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Published on September 17, 2018

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

2. When you want something big, wait

Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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So, you get the itch.

You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

Here’s where you have to take a step back.

Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

3. Live smaller than you can afford

You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

4. Practice smart grocery shopping

Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

Create a grocery budget

Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

Make a list… and never deviate

Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

Eat before going grocery shopping

It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

5. Cancel your gym membership

Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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